Curious about what it takes for the preconception to become a nice tangible model? Need some inspiration for post-processing? Or maybe you want to see the results of creativity connected with talent and of course 3D printing? If so, you should get to know better Simone Rasetti – a digital sculptor, caricature designer and figurine maker – all in one person.
The Digital Shift
As many of you can probably notice, like most of the traditional craftwork, the contemporary art went digital. Opinions concerning its aesthetics and the quality of being “real” art vary among many, however the fact is that it gives a whole lot of different possibilities to designers from many branches of industry. Techniques of digital sculpting are no stranger to Simone Rasetti who uses them to design models for 3D printing. One of the most favorite programs of the artist is Z-Brush as it allows to create organic shapes by manipulating the mesh of polygons, to put it simple. The program is in fact a common choice of many artists as it makes possible to create professional photorealistic renders by adding textures, various shapes and sizes and what is more important, it gives the effect which is the most similar to the traditional sculpting than the other modeling programs. The designer often uses a graphic tablet to make his work more convenient, as with this device and the modelling program, he can simply start adding some shape to a virtual bulb of clay.
Pathway to Perfection
Simone Rasetti owes the great results of his work also to his artistic background. The Italy based designer is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts where he got his basic knowledge about Visual and Performing Arts and till that moment has continued to gain his experience in digital modeling and 3D printing. As we can see, most of his works are caricatures or small figurines that serve the role of cake toppers. To create the digital designs the designer usually uses a computer and modeling programs which apart from the wide array of possibilities, are the right tool to prepare the files for 3D printing.
However, Rasetti stresses also the importance of the traditional ways of making a sketch: “I Suggest to all the people who come to the world of 3D printing, to develop their own creations first through the manual study on paper and then they should work out the three-dimensional geometry. Very often the classical designing process is skipped, but it is essential for the study of forms and to facilitate the prototyping process.” What the designer also advices is: “… to become interested in traditional modeling techniques, which will greatly help the creative designer to better understand the digital forms and how to process them as well as possible.” We can do nothing but admit that Simone has mastered all the way from a sketch to a finished, commercially-looking model.
LPD Mini Me
As it has been already mentioned, the artist uses Z-Brush as it is perfect for creating biological shapes and allows really fast modeling and reproducing realistic look of face and body shapes. By using basic functionalities of the program he could add some characteristic features of a caricature to a certain image, for example by exaggerating the major parts of a character, which is a common practice in most of the caricatures. After obtaining the satisfactory results and having the image finished, the main part of turning 2D into 3D is in fact fairly simple. To get the model prepared and ready to 3D print all we have to do is to export the file to Z-SUITE software, which is compatible with most of the modeling programs. Zortrax M200 3D printer is a kind of a hands-free solution, however users can adjust the parameters in Z-SUITE to fit their needs. By choosing the layer thickness, type of infill, support angle or selecting the speed mode that make the printing process up to 30% faster they can modify the look of the 3D print. When it comes to the size of the 3D printed models, in Zortrax 3D printer the quality goes hand in hand with the dimensional accuracy – just look at the Simone’s figurines or check out 6mm 3D prints of Ronny Raimondi.
Cherry on Top
When it comes to the post-processing we have to admit that it is surely the strong side of the artist. Creating such good looking objects involves, apart from great skills, also the use of 3D printer like Zortrax M200 that ensures dimensional accuracy and capability of recreating details. To justify his choice, Rasetti claims that he decided to use the Zortrax M200 because it is a reliable device that guarantees desirable surface quality and Zortrax printing materials, especially Z-ULTRAT and Z-ABS which are artist’s favorites, that are durable, suitable for post-processing and make the whole process easy and fun. The designer stressed the similarity of post-processing of traditionally sculpted models and the 3D printed ones. He uses the same techniques that include getting rid of the residual material, polishing the model with the sandpaper of increasing grit and putting thin layers of primer, paint and varnish. Sounds simple, however, the results look really realistic as you can see yourself in the pictures included to this blogpost. If any of you are interested in some other post-processing techniques, the useful step-by-step manuals prepared by the Zortrax team are available on Zortrax Support Center.
Make Your Work Easier
Asked about the 3D printing utility, Simone stresses the impact of this technology on his everyday work: “Thanks to this wonderful technology the creative designer can achieve increasingly complex forms and sculptures, giving the chance to design creations without limits of imagination. I believe that 3D printing is able to break new ground for art and crafts in all its forms, giving free rein to new artistic and productive movements.” The artist also explains the possibilities that the 3D printing gives to artist and students who can not only see the results of their work within a couple of hours, but also use the technology which is within their reach, thanks to the reasonable price compared to the traditional highly expensive techniques like prototyping. Apart from this, the additional advantage of the 3D printing and using Zortrax M200 is that it allows educating people about the 3D printing application and helping to build a creative community of artists, designers and engineers who can share their experience on the subject matter and start interesting collaborations.